Dinges: Lead investigative reporter Brian Collister departs KXAN

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 Austin360

Brian Collister, KXAN’s lead investigative reporter, has departed the station.

In an interview with the American-Statesman, Collister, who spent nearly four years at the city’s NBC affiliate, said he’s already busy looking for his next opportunity.

“Like any relationship, sometimes the parties decide they need to go in a new direction – and that’s what we decided to do,” he said.

Before arriving at KXAN, he spent time as an investigative reporter at KTRK in Houston and WOAI in San Antonio. Earlier in his career, he helped start the 7 On Your Side unit at Austin’s KTBC.

“I’ve been an investigative reporter for 20 years,” Collister said. “Whether it’s here in Austin, elsewhere in Texas or beyond, I’m going to continue to fight for the public’s right to know.”

While at KXAN, Collister and the station’s heavily promoted investigative team won a slew of awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for their coverage of racial profiling by Texas law enforcement officers.

“Viewers and tipsters were confident we’d tell their stories,” Collister said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to do some really great things at KXAN. I appreciate every opportunity they gave me.”

While he’s not sure what’s next, Collister said there’s one thing he wants viewers to know no matter where he lands.

“Regardless of where I am, I want people to realize they can still reach out and I can help them,” he said.

More ‘Morning Edition’

Austin NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM started off 2018 by adding more local programming to its lineup.

The station has expanded “Morning Edition,” which now ends at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Jennifer Stayton hosts the new 9 a.m. hour.

That means NPR’s “On Point,” which had been heard at 9 a.m., is now off the KUT schedule.

The 9 a.m. hour will have a heavy local emphasis, the station said, with more news breaks, as well as long-form interviews with local newsmakers.

“Austin’s interest in public radio journalism has never been higher, as shown by the increasing numbers of Austinites turning to KUT 90.5 for news each day,” said Hawk Mendenhall, associate general manager of broadcast and content services for KUT. “And as Austin has grown, so has the need for more news coverage. This additional hour of ‘Morning Edition’ will enable us to deliver more news from our community, the nation and the world on a daily basis.”

In other KUT programming news, Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” will replace “The Dinner Party Download,” which has ended production, Fridays at 9 p.m.

KVUE adds weekend news

KVUE has added an hour of weekend news.

The additions at the city’s ABC affiliate are on Saturdays.

A new 5 p.m. Saturday newscast debuted Jan. 13, while the station took the wraps off a newly expanded, hourlong 10 p.m. Saturday newscast Jan. 6.

KVUE already airs an hourlong 10 p.m. newscast on Sundays.

Current weekend anchor Kris Betts has added the new broadcasts to her existing schedule.

Read my blog at tvradio.blog.austin360.com or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.